Saturday, 15 March 2014

Why I hate all Welshmen

Before

Today, I have decided, is haircut day. I would have done it last week, but H.I. told me it looked good, and I believed her. Now I know she just wanted another week of mild amusement at my expense.

Normally, my criteria for deciding when to cut my hair is based on how many people refer to me as 'Germaine Greer' and how long I can put up with them calling me that without losing my sense of humour. I think I have reached that point now.

I have only been to a hairdresser (or what we used to call 'barber') about three times since I was 13, and each time it has been a complete disaster, even though I am not what you would call a vain person.

Prior to age 13, I was sent every couple of weeks to a Welsh barber in Woking whose son I went to school with. He was a complete bastard, and may be the reason why I have been very wary of all Welshmen since.

Up until the time that I flatly refused to go to him one Saturday, I would sidle into his shop and he would say, "Right. Short back and sides it is then." When I told him that this was not the style of haircut I wanted, he would lie by telling me that my father had already issued the instructions, and he was going to give me a short back and sides whether I liked it or not.

He then wielded a large and primitive set of electrical clippers, allowing the short, itchy bits of hair to fall down the back of my shirt. Every fortnight, I waited for the sadistic sod to do what he always did as a finale.

He would pull out each ear with his finger and thumb, then deliberately cut into the flesh which connected them to my head with the coarse clippers. I would wince, knowing that this was not all he had planned for my punishment for just being me.

"You're bleeding," he would say with satisfaction, "I'll apply the styptic pencil."

I knew it was futile to refuse the styptic pencil, and I also knew that it hurt even more than the actual cutting, which was his sole reason for using it. His excuse was, however, that he was not having me bleed all over the white cloth which he loosely wrapped around my shoulders.

In a re-enactment of the old tradition of paying your executioner, I would stand up, thank him, give him two shillings, then slink out of the shop in pain, impotent anger and mute humiliation as he watched me leave with a nasty smirk on his red, bloated face. Every two fucking weeks - for years.

In writing the above, I suddenly find that I have re-kindled my innate and ancient hatred for all Welshmen, which is very unfortunate and I can only apologise for it, it being so deep and primal that it cannot be controlled without prolonged therapy sessions.

It was around my 13th birthday when my sister (the deceased one) became a hairdresser, so she took over until I left home 3 years later. That was much nicer, and - for the first time - I told her what the Welsh bastard had done to me every fortnight up until then. I think I tainted her outlook on the Welsh forever too. Ok, maybe it was not just his Welshness which made him the complete and utter sadistic pysochopath he was, but try telling that to a frightened and tortured, English child.

Then I hardly cut my hair at all for about 3 years, until I became so fed up with a long-haired hippy who was dossing on my floor, that I actually shaved my head in protest - and just to scare the shit out of him. Nobody except squaddies shaved their heads in those days. He left the next day, so job done.

I bought myself a good pair of hair-cutting scissors, and I have been cutting my own hair ever since. What I saved in hair-dressing fees I spent on drugs and alcohol, so I am quids in.

People used to say that with short hair I look like the Emperor Nero. These days I look like Caligula, which - to my mind - is a fuck-sight better than looking like Germaine Greer.

After

34 comments:

  1. What about John Gray? Surely you don't hate him!

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    1. Only because he has completely lost his Welsh accent. (Alright, I was only saying that I hate all Welshman for the sake of the story, and to make a catchy and controversial title for this post. I like the Welsh really, but it's fun - as with the French - to pretend you don't).

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    2. Breaths a non welsh accented sigh of relief!

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    3. Don't breathe out just now - I haven't started on the Liverpool accent yet.

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  2. Was he called Sweeney Taffy-Todd?

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    1. I have been trying to remember the name of the demon barber, then it dawned on me: David Thomas - the same name as his son. What kind of a man names his son after himself?

      I have also just had the idea that he trained as a sheep-shearer in Wales before coming here to clip children. I bet he would have grappled me to the floor after releasing me from the holding-pen if he could have got away with it.

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    2. The barber I went to as a child would always end up by asking 'anything for the weekend, sir?', to which all the waiting clients would roar with laughter. It was years before I understood the joke!

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    3. You should have asked for the largest he had.

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    4. ... then reject them for being too small...

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  3. Looks like your hair is turning blue?

    Rachel supports the red shirts of Arsenal. And I remember they had a fantastic Welsh goalkeeper called Jack Kelsey.

    Better keep your head down, Tom.

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    1. I haven't felt the need for a blue-rinse - yet.

      I only live just over the bridge from Wales, so I have a few thousand to worry about every Saturday when all the real blue-rinses come to Bath to do a bit of shopping. What's wrong with Cardiff?

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    2. Oops - I've just realised who you are talking about. Now I'm worried.

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    3. You should have let me cut it for you. You hardly look like you touched it. And I have the styptic pencil sharpened ready. Don't be scared...................

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    4. It's the final trim with the cut-throat which bothers me.

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  4. Judging by those before and after shots might I suggest you buy a van and travel round the country - you can cut my hair anytime.

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    Replies
    1. I'll give you a Brazilian, Weave - they're all the rage.

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    2. Control yourself Stephenson.

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  5. Looks good! There is a bit of a George Clooney-esque flip-up in the front.

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    1. That's about the only thing I have in common with George Clooney.

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  6. We'll just call you Vidal from now on …. you missed your calling. Mine could do with a trim !!!! XXXX

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  7. Impressive work........perhaps don't' give up the day job quite yet.

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    Replies
    1. In the old days, I would get the council to do it.

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    2. P.S. - Do I detect a hint of a Yorkshire accent? Did you mean: 'Don't give up t' day job'?

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  8. I have no comment on your coiffure either before or after (before or after what? he replies), but I would like to point out that Groucho Marx is smiling at your readers from there in the upper left of your masthead photo.

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    1. Hmmm... I sort of see it, but I just know that that airman has an upper-class, English accent. They took anyone in those days.

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  9. Hmmh - though I like the second photo, I love the "tousled" more (but these days nobody listens to that preference: son with beautiful hair sports a neat lawyer's cut, husband heard my pleading and let it grow - a bit; and my sweet coiffeur flatly refuses to give me the Angela-Davis-perm I had a long time ago..) My first hairdresser - if one could call him that - was a barbarian too - as a child I always wept after his cut when I came home. Husband suspects a trauma: till this day I am utra critical concerning the length of my fringe. (The barbarian cut it very high - giving me the look of an astonished pumpkin).
    So: you look good both ways - short hair might be more practical.

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    Replies
    1. "ultra" of course. And then: you didn't strengthen my still a bit faint wish to discover Wales this year...

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    2. 'Barbarian' - How I wish I had thought of that one! Most women over a certain age (no offence) prefer long, tousled hair to short on men, but now I am irresistibly attractive to all under 30s.

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    3. I know - I've seen the photos.

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